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Will Someone Please Hit The Switch On Melbourne's New Ferris Wheel?

December 8, 2008 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

Whether the delay in opening Melbourne's new Southern Star Ferris wheel is a publicity stunt gone wrong, a safety problem or just plain bad organization, nobody knows, but rumor has it that sometime today, the wheel should start turning.

Or maybe tomorrow. Nobody seems to be able to tell us for sure. All we do know is that it won't be cheap to see the sights of Melbourne from the equivalent of 40 floors up--an hour-long adult ride will cost A$29 ($19), nearly double the cost of the big tourist viewing platforms nearby like the Rialto Tower or Skydeck 88.

So we're waiting to see that big wheel turnin', so to speak, and while we're not as convinced as the owners are that it's going to be the "new symbol of contemporary Melbourne," we're curious if nothing else. Sometimes that's enough.

Related Stories:
· Southern Star [Official Site]
· Southern Star Observation Wheel Charging $29 A Turn [Herald Sun]
· Ferris Wheel Travel: Awaiting the Southern Star [Jaunted]

[Photo: avlxyz]

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Awaiting the Southern Star

September 26, 2008 at 1:00 PM | by | ()

We might be jumping the gun a little bit here, but figured we'd throw our support behind Melbourne since it's quickly becoming top dog down under.

Engineers are busy at work as the construction deadline for the city's Southern Star observation wheel continues to approach. Set to open late this year, the wheel is similar is design to the London Eye, and will rise more than 38 stories into the air.

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Flying Over Niagara Falls

September 19, 2008 at 1:00 PM | by | ()

Even with the warmer weather on the way out, Niagara Falls is still a great place to take in some of nature's beauty in cooler temperatures--especially within heated "pods."

The Niagara SkyWheel, situated on the Canadian side of the falls within Clifton Hill, rises more than 175 feet into the air as it slowly rotates to give riders a view of the falls.

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Eye on Malaysia Gets a New Home

September 12, 2008 at 9:45 AM | by | ()

The next time you travel to Kuala Lumpur, don't expect to find the Eye on Malaysia. The nearly 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel is going on a sort of permanent vacation.

It's been decided that the wheel needs to be dismantled and transferred to elsewhere in Malaysia. The ride was constructed last year in conjuction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 event, but now its contract is up and it's got to go.

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Musically Inclined

Where: Vienna, Austria
March 5, 2008 at 1:00 PM | by | ()

The Langerado Music Festival starts tomorrow in the Florida Everglades, with all your favorite jam bands--from Beastie Boys to Gov't Mule--making appearances. So what's the Ferris wheel connection? There'll be one on the festival grounds, giving bird's-eye views of the bands.

If you prefer your music a bit more proper, maybe a trip to Haydn's hometown would suit you better. Vienna, Austria's opera capital, also claims one of the world's first Ferris wheels, the Riesenrad. (That's German for "giant wheel.")

The ride, above, towers 200 feet into the air, and even showed up in the film noir classic "The Third Man." If you can't snag a seat on one of the Riesenrad's 15 gondolas, there's a smaller wheel on the outskirts of town at the Böhmischer Prater.

Related Stories:
· Langerado Music Festival [Official Site]
· Vienna Prater, Home of the Riesenrad [Official Site]
· Ferris Wheels coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Wikipedia]

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Singapore Flyer Opens Again and Again

February 29, 2008 at 9:15 AM | by | ()

We've been getting excited about the Singapore Flyer for years now, and after this month's soft opening, it'll officially open tomorrow, March 1. But the the good Ferris wheel people of Singapore won't rest then, because they'll be preparing for the really proper Grand Official Singapore Flyer Launch, scheduled for April 15.

If you can't make any of the opening ceremonies, you can check on things by pulling up the Singapore Flyer webcam: When we checked, the wheel wasn't moving, and the weather suggested you wouldn't be able to see to Malaysia or Indonesia as promised.

Everyone wants a piece of the Singapore Flyer at the moment, with ASEAN politicians taking a ride this week, but the Singapore Flyer wants a piece of us too. They're promoting a What Wheel It Be? contest, where creative uses of a picture of the Singapore Flyer in any kind of work of art could win you some audio equipment. We're just hoping for an invite to the Grand Official Finally-It's-The-Last-Opening launch in April.

Related Stories:
· Giant Ferris Wheels Are the New Final Frontier [Jaunted]
· Singapore's Big Wheel [Jaunted]
· Flyin' the Singapore Flyer [Jaunted]

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Dubai and the Real Xanadu

February 28, 2008 at 11:39 AM | by | ()

Work is underway in Dubai to build the world's second largest Ferris wheel. Now, normally we'd expect the emirate to be number one in the giant-tourist-attractions department, but Singapore swooped in with its massive Flyer before Dubai could get its wheel up.

Second place or not, this thing is still gonna be huge. At more than 400 feet high, it'll allow views of more than 30 miles, far enough to see all the other ridiculous structures in town.

If that's not ostentatious enough for you, get ready for this winter in New Jersey where a soda company has bought up the rights to a 287-foot wheel at the Meadowlands. The Pepsi Globe will feature 26 cars holding 20 riders each and will give panoramic views of the New York City skyline and the Hudson River from a new entertainment complex called Xanadu, above.

As always, plot your travels with our Ferris Wheels of the World Map.

Related Stories:
· Giant Ferris Wheels Are the New Final Frontier [Jaunted]
· Ferris Wheels coverage [Jaunted]

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Ferris Wheel Travel: Mapping the Biggest and the Best

Where: 380 Santa Monica Pier [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
February 20, 2008 at 11:19 AM | by | ()

Earlier this month, we told you about the Singapore Flyer, the super Ferris wheel that's now the world's biggest. But height alone doesn't make an awesome ride, or at least that's what they're hoping at Pacific Park in Santa Monica.

Starting May 8, workers will put in a new, high-tech wheel with all sorts of wild lighting effects. (Think LED hearts for V-Day, an American flag for Independence Day, a wreath for Christmas.) The new 90-foot ride should be ready in time for the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day.

Given how hot the Ferris wheel competition is getting worldwide, we figured we better map out your best options. If your top trips are all about getting high, here's where to go.

Related Stories:
· New Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier [LAT Deal Blog]
· Pacific Park [Official Site]
· Ferris Wheels of the World Map [Jaunted]

[Photo: vgm8383]